'Tour de Blue' Log:
Sunday 9/26
Final Count Down...

One week from today we will actually begin doing it, riding all 469.1 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Up until now it seemed like a good idea. Now it feels more, um, insane.

We have all of our equipment. We know our schedule. Countless others have done this before. But we have never done it before, so it feels like being the first people to go to the moon.

When Hans and I were kids our mother told us stories of the grandfather we never knew who could walk on his hands and ride a bicycle backwards in his 60's. He died when I was a year old. I vowed to do all that he could do and more in my 80's so my own grandchildren can share it. Grandaddy did a lot of things, but he never rode the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Right now I am so excited I can hardly sleep the night through. No, I am not 13 years old. In fact, today I turned 37. Earlier this year Mike turned 50 and Hans turned 30. But when we get on the BRP we will all three be 13.

Injury Report:
Just to be dramatic, Hans reports that he has plantar faciatis (tendonitis of the tendons extending from the heel to the ball of the foot on the bottom) in his right foot. It does do my heart good to see the youngster grappling with his 30 year old body. Not to be outdone though, my feet have been hurting a lot lately, which means I may be getting it as well. I'm sure it does Mike's heart good to see me grappling with my 37 year old body. High arches run in the family (get it? - 'high arches run...' nevermind). PF can be bloody painful, but can be managed. Besides that I am getting a sinus infection. Heavy endurance activity has a way of supressing the immune system, so this is lovely news.

So far Mike is in great shape. But his bike isn't. Last week he took his wheels in to the shop to be trued (to get the wobbles out) and to find out why he has been getting a lot of flats. His wheels came out trued, but not centered the right way, so on his training ride today the wheel rubbed the rim and he got a flat.

As if on cue, we just received from my friend June - who lives in Virginia and knows the Blue Ridge Parkway much better than any of us - a package with 100 individually wrapped little Advils. This is either very good will, or very bad news.


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The Linn Cove Viaduct on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Grandfather Mountain.    1999 Hugh Morton.